Chelsea have drawn Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16, a tough draw by anyone’s standards. But it could also be a lot worse.
Finishing second in the group meant we only had tricky teams to face regardless, and if it wasn’t Bayern it would almost certainly have been Juventus or Barcelona.
The only really soft group winner was… Valencia, and they topped our group meaning we couldn’t get them. So given we had to get a top team, why not Bayern?
Yes they’re a strong side, who tore apart Tottenham twice in the group stage, but they’re not at their best at the moment. They have a stand-in coach for one thing, and they’ve got a lot of young and new players signed over the last year or two still settling in and not yet at the super high level we’ve come to expect from Bayern teams over the years.
The other good news for us is that the Bundesliga race is very much on this year. Chances are, they’re still going to be battling hard by the time our games come around in the New Year, and their focus will be split between us and the league. In some seasons they have it wrapped up by Christmas and can really focus on Europe. That won’t be the case this time. Leipzig, BMG and Dortmund will hopefully continue to push them domestically and split their focus.
So yes this is a tough draw, but as they go, it’s not too bad. Plus, given our history at the Allianz Arena, we might just have a psychological edge.